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Streets Reopening In Baltimore After Grand Prix

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Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The streets of downtown Baltimore will soon be back to normal as crews work to tear down the set up for the Grand Prix of Baltimore.

Rochelle Ritchie has a wrap-up of the event.

Just as fast as it started, it has now ended. It took 30 days to get the track ready and will have all the streets in downtown open Tuesday.

For just one weekend, downtown Baltimore broke the speed limit laws as racing’s finest, reached speeds of more than 150 miles per hour.

The winner of this year’s Grand Prix of Baltimore was Ryan Hunter-Reay.

“Baltimore is such a cool city. The fans come out, really support us. IndyCar fans are the best fan base I could ever ask for,” he said.

In just 90 days, Race On Baltimore partnered with Andretti Sports Marketing, setting up the track and stands in record time compared to 2011.

“We cut that down to 30 days to build the actual track itself,” said General Manager Tim Mayer.

But records weren’t broken when it came to crowd numbers. The race was a success, but Mayer says the crowds were not as big. Some local businesses say they could tell.

Jamael Jordan is a manager at California Tortilla. He says extra staff and food were brought in expectation of a large crowd.

“We sent a lot of people home early once we noticed we weren’t going to get anything out of it,” Jordan said.

Others, like Clarence Shields, who tried making a little extra cash fell short, too.

“What I made last year, I didn’t even make a third this year,” Shields said.

Mayer says less time to promote could have played a factor.

“Last year, a lot of people came in for free and they had a year and a half to promote it and we had 90 days,” Mayer said.

Cleanup is now underway, with plans to have intersections open by Tuesday morning. Mayer says they’re already looking at ways to improve next year’s race.

“We’re really pleased and we are looking forward to 2013,” Mayer said.

It will take about 14 days to have everything cleaned up.

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